Les Temps Sont Durs…

It’s been a weird couple of weeks. Of course, you could say that of any number of weeks over the last few years, but I’m not commenting on current events. I mean that it’s been a weird couple of weeks for me.

Working through anxiety issues has brought up stuff I didn’t expect and didn’t really want to deal with. Nothing like being forced to confront demons you didn’t know you had. Hopefully, it’ll work out for the best in the long run. But in the meantime I’m a bit of an unfocused mess. I’m restless. Really restless. Although I’m accomplishing things, it doesn’t seem like much and I go to bed at night wondering what I did all day.

I’ve also  been having an unusually difficult time writing. I mean it’s “staring at a blank page all day” bad. I decided to add a scene between two characters in my WIP, and then couldn’t think of one thing to write. It’s like a loud buzzing (or worse) fills my head every time I try to think about it.

(It’s probably not helping that we have band members living a couple of doors down and they’ve taken to daily outdoor practice sessions.) Since I couldn’t focus on the scene, I decided to go back and edit something else for a while, only to not be able to focus on that, either. Yeah, it’s as fun as it sounds. I finally had a minor breakthrough last night when I realized I might have already included a scene like the one I want and then forgot about it (the perils of being a slow writer). At the same time, I also got a flash of inspiration that means I can start on the scene if it doesn’t exist, or improve it if it does. [Insert a sigh of relief here.] Sorting that out also helped me focus on my editing. I think I’ll be back on track soon, but this was the break nobody asked for.

I started this train of thought about the weirdness going on as I was contemplating my honeysuckle plant. I have honeysuckle growing in a pot outside. It’s one of the last surviving garden plants that I tried to move from my last place. If our plans had worked out, it would have been in a permanent spot in the ground a long time ago. Instead, it’s been hanging on, first as a cutting in a jar of water, and this year finally placed in a container of soil. Since the plant it came from was a gift from my mom, I really want to keep it alive until I have a garden again. Earlier this week I noticed it was about to put out flowers– for the first time in years, and despite the less-than-ideal circumstances it’s had to endure. Rejoice! Needless to say I was pretty stoked to see the plant thriving.

And then yesterday I noticed the nascent flowers were gone.

One of our local critters had a snack, leaving cleanly cut stems behind where flower buds used to be. That’s the kind of week it’s been (and really, that’s kind of 2020 in a nutshell– okay, I couldn’t resist one small comment on current events). Sometimes all you can do is hold on and wait for another chance to bloom.

How are you doing these days?

Had a week you need a break from? Download one of my books…

Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas, Blood Magic by Aspasia S. Bissas, Tooth & Claw by Aspasia S. Bissas, books, free books, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

 

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

 

 

WordPress Woes

wordpress woes, blog post, aspasia s. bissas, blog, blogging, frustration, anger, tech sucks, sucks, cute, corgi, cute animals, puppy, i hate wordpress's new block editor, wordpress block editor, wordpress sucks, WordPress Woes, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Any situation is less frustrating with cute pictures of corgis… (Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com )

If you’re a blogger on WordPress, you should have already noticed the new system for writing posts– WordPress’s new “block editor.” You know, the thing that took the simple act of typing words on a screen, and turned it into an exercise in frustration. The thing that took an activity that was quick and simple, and turned it into something that now requires tutorials to figure out. The thing I used to do without a second thought that now makes me want to give up blogging. That thing.

Now, I might not be the most tech savvy person, but neither is the clock on my metaphorical VCR set to 12:00… 12:00… 12:00…. (By the way, if you’re too young to get that reference, you should keep in mind that no one likes a show-off.) I’ve been blogging for a long time, on a variety of different platforms. I’ve even managed to pick up some basic HTML. Nothing has ever made me want to rage quit blogging before.

When the block editor was first introduced several months back, I decided to give it a try– and instantly hated it. Luckily I could still keep using the classic editor. (Oh, classic editor. It’s only been a few days but I miss you so much.) Then came the initial phase-in of the block editor. That time I had to contact WordPress for help. They told me how to switch back to the classic editor and assured me that I’d always be able to keep using it. Great.

But now that the block editor is the default for everyone, I think I’m stuck. WordPress claims you can still switch back to the classic editor– the only problem is, I can’t find where to do it anywhere on the site. Supposedly it exists in WP Admin– a simple setting you can easily change. So why is it that I’ve been through every setting in my admin (as well as my site dashboard and in the block editor itself– multiple times) and can’t find anything about classic editor? At all. Anywhere.

I contacted WordPress again and they assured me (again) that I can keep the classic editor. Apparently it only takes a simple change in WP admin settings. In the meantime, would I like to take some tutorials in using the new block editor? Or how about I try the “classic editor” block, which sort of looks like the classic editor, but acts like the block editor?

wordpress woes, blog post, aspasia s. bissas, aspasiasbissas.com, nope, nope meme, corgi, corgi meme, corgi nope meme, cute, funny, wordpress sucks, i hate the new block editor, i hate the new block editor on wordpress, wordpress hate, blog, blogging

No. To all of this.

I’m not automatically averse to trying to new things. I do, however, firmly believe in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The new block editor is clunky, awkward/annoying to use, anti-intuitive, and apparently full of glitches. Earlier this week I tried using the block editor to post a poll. It didn’t show up at all for some people, and for those who could see it, I couldn’t see their answers. The poll is now a survey (by the way, please take it, if you haven’t already).

My first instinct while trying to deal with all this was to move my site to another host/platform. Life is too short to be trying to figure out how to write a few words on a page without losing my mind. But it’s not easy to move a site (at least, not to move it and keep your content), and there’s no guarantee things would be any better elsewhere. So I’m going to stick it out. Maybe I’ll even take a couple of those tutorials. I just hope my readers will be understanding if things don’t look or work quite right. Or if I have to occasionally vent. As for WordPress and its insistence on pushing the block editor on users, do you think voodoo dolls work on websites? Asking for a friend.

What do you think of the new block editor? Have you made the change or did you manage to switch back to the classic editor? Share in the comments…

Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas, Blood Magic by Aspasia S. Bissas, Tooth & Claw by Aspasia S. Bissas, books, free books, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com
Looking for a distraction from life’s frustrations? Download my books now…

Love Lies Bleeding: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

Survey

Poll by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Welcome to what was my first ever poll! It turns out some people couldn’t see it, and I couldn’t see anyone’s answers. So, welcome to my survey! Please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments…

Thanks ♥

What type of posts would you like to see more of on my blog…?

  1. Articles on writing and creativity
  2. Articles on all things book-related
  3. Articles on vampires
  4. Short fiction and poetry
  5. Other (please specify)

If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment below.

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

What to Do when Your Plot Falls Apart

What to Do When Your Plot Falls Apart, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Imagine this: you’ve written the first (or second, or third…) draft of a novel and it’s going well. You’re editing and rewriting at a good pace, happy with your progress. But suddenly the realization hits you that a major plot point of your book is all wrong. For whatever reason a part of your story– maybe even one the entire book hinges on– no longer works. Now what?

This happened to me. I wasn’t happy with the ending of my current book and I wasn’t sure why. Then the crushing awareness that it was all wrong and had to go. Not only did I have no idea how to change it, but any changes I did make would have major repercussions for the next book too. Cue the panic.

I think it’s safe to say most writers experience this situation at some point, but if it happens to you it can be disheartening to the point of making you want to give up. If you’re suffering a plot fail, don’t worry. Despite the initial panic and frustration, there are things you can do to help you through it.

Take a Break: It doesn’t need to be a long break. Spend a few hours or a few days focusing on other things. Give your mind a rest from writing while your subconscious keeps thinking about it. Before you know it you’ll be coming up with new ideas and solutions without even trying.

Brainstorm: If the thought of ignoring your writing (even temporarily) stresses you, then brainstorming might be more your style. Try these brainstorming techniques for writers and keep working on the issue until you figure it out.

Think About It: Is there actually a problem with your story? Sometimes writers are convinced their book is terrible when the real issue is anxiety or insecurity. Maybe your plot needs only minor tweaking– or maybe it’s fine as is. Take a deep breath and a step back before considering whether the problem is your plot or your perception.

Talk it Out: Find someone you trust and tell them about it. Explain your concern with what you’ve already written and see what they think. Getting a second (or third) opinion can be really helpful, and sometimes simply saying things out loud is enough to trigger solutions. Don’t forget writers’ groups and forums– they can be invaluable sources of advice and support.

Hire an Editing Service: Editors can do more than check your spelling. Many offer services such as story consultation or manuscript critique. If you’re stuck and nothing else is helping, professional help might be the key.

As for myself, a combination of taking a break, thinking about it, and talking it out helped me overcome my plot issues. My book isn’t done yet, but at least it’s back on track.

How do you get through when your plot is causing you problems? Share in the comments.

love lies bleeding, blood magic, tooth & claw, books by Aspasia S. Bissas
Interested in seeing what I’ve written so far? Download one of my books…

Love Lies Bleeding: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas